Showing posts with label how to get hired if you have a criminal record. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to get hired if you have a criminal record. Show all posts

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Why You Need to Know How a “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire more Safely ~ even if Your New Hire has a Record!

Learn How a Certificate of Relief will Help You Safely Hire Ex-Offenders
Would You Hire Someone with a 
Criminal Record?

That is a question that plagues both employers and job applicants who have any kind of criminal history.

When it comes to employers, many are understandably wary of hiring applicants with a criminal record. They worry that they could cause problems for their company, their other employees, and their customers. They think that by hiring an ex-offender they are putting themselves and others at risk. 

Companies also fear that hiring someone who already has a criminal history makes them more vulnerable to negligent hiring lawsuits. Employers can be found liable if, while during the course of business, one of their employees commits a criminal offense or acts in any way that could cause harm to someone else. 

Ex-offenders also have their own set of worries and fears. They know that even after they have completed their sentences, they face a prejudice that is hard to overcome. And that prejudice is crystal clear when it comes to getting hired.

However, helping those with a criminal history get a job is not only important for them, it is good for our society as a whole. 

When criminals are released from jail or finish a period of probation, they are, for the first time in awhile, on their own. Many make vows to themselves that things are going to be different. They dream of being a self-reliant, responsible adult.

But the problem then becomes, how can they make that happen?

It all comes down to this ~ Find a Job!

Getting hired is the key! It is a huge step for any ex-offender when it comes time to start over. Being employed not only helps them financially, it also gives ex-offenders a sense of normalcy and, most importantly, pride.

Without that step up, many will re-offend and can even end up worse than before.

This is a problem not just for them, but for all of us ~ and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and many states are starting to take notice.

One of the latest ways that some states are helping ex-offenders get a new start is by granting them a “Certificate of Relief”.

A “Certificate of Relief” will Help You Hire Ex-Offenders with Less Risk! “Tweet This”

A “Certificate of Relief” is a statement by the court that an ex-offender has met a certain pre-defined set of circumstances and conditions concerning their past conviction(s). This certificate is designed to help reduce the risk to employers who hire ex-offenders.

But this certification is not given to everyone. While specific criteria may vary state to state, common conditions that ex-offenders must meet to be granted a “Certificate of Relief” are:
  • A limited number of felonies and/or misdemeanors.
  • A specific period of time has passed since the completion of their sentence (may be 12 months or more) including any probation or parole assigned.
  • They must have completed all terms of their sentence(s) including probation, substance abuse or anger management treatment.
  • They have not violated or failed to comply with any term of their criminal sentence(s). 
  • They have no criminal charge(s) pending.
  • They must be engaged in, or seeking, lawful employment, an education, training, or registered in other rehabilitative programs or have a lawful source of support.
  • Belief of the court that granting the “Certificate of Relief” would not put the safety or welfare of the public or any individual at unreasonable risk.

But perhaps the most important result of a “Certificate of Relief”, at least to employers, is that it helps protect them from liability when it comes to most negligent hiring claims. 

Considering a "Certificate of Relief", along with other background check information, to determine employment helps prove that they have done their due diligence and vetted that employee to make the safest hire possible.

In addition to the “Certificate of Relief”, many other states are revamping their expungement procedures, especially when it comes to first-time, non-violent, offenders.

These states are passing legislation that will expand the ability of ex-offenders to have their record expunged.  

In many cases, it will be is as if their conviction never existed. A job applicant would be then be able to legally state that they have never been convicted of a crime.

Many believe it is a way to give an ex-offender a second chance. Others feel it is simply a way for those convicted of a crime to hide their past”.

Find out more about the pros and cons of expungement in “Expunging Criminal Records ~ What You Need to Know”!

I believe that a “Certificate of Relief” is of more value to an employer than an expungement.

A “Certificate of Relief” still reveals an applicant’s criminal history and it offers proof that the ex-offender has met a specific set of requirements and has taken steps to move beyond their past. It also offers some protection for employers.

An expungement, however, tries to “hide” a criminal history entirely from employers, while still making them vulnerable to potential negligent hiring lawsuits.

This is unfair and results in more employers being wary to hire ex-offenders at all.

No hiring decision should ever be made blindly. 

It is possible to hire an ex-offender and to do so safely and with eyes wide open.

The key is to never skip the background check. Be sure to do background checks on each and every new hire, and use re-screening and workplace observation post-hire!

Background checks play an essential role in any businesses’ hiring practices. They give you the information you need to make an informed and safe employment decision.

No matter what current or future employment laws and regulations dictate, it ultimately comes down to this ~ whether we choose to believe in second chances.

People cannot only be defined by their pasts. Our greatest ability as human beings is being able to learn from our mistakes. We need to recognize this.

We as employers and Background Check companies need to move past the notion that “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal”.   

People can change.  And giving them another chance can help make that change more permanent”, excerpt from “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We Need to Believe in Second Chances”!

Giving those with a criminal past a second chance, while protecting the interest of employers, is possible. And if more states consider offering a “Certificate of Relief” to qualified ex-offenders, we are closer than ever to making that a reality.

Authored by    

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

How Do You get a Decent Job with a Criminal Record?

Can You Get a Decent Job if You have a Criminal Record?

This question has been asked often and is a valid concern of anyone who has a past criminal history. So, when it came up again recently on (a Question and Answer site), I thought I would share my answer in hopes of helping others who are asking the same question.

Here is the Answer I posted:

"It can seem very daunting landing a job when you have a past criminal history. However, there are things you can do to make yourself more employable. 

First, Get a job, any job. It may be fast food. It may be janitorial. It doesn’t matter. The key is to work hard, be on time, be productive, and be eager to learn. Your employers will notice. Then, when you are ready to move on, you will have demonstrated a good work ethic and reliability. This will lead to a good reference. You may have to do this multiple times before a company who is offering a “decent job” will take a chance on you. 

Another route is to find local companies who do hire those with criminal records. Believe me, they are out there. Then you need to do the same thing. Work hard and be a model employee. Each time, you will be building your resume and your reputation. This is key. 

Even then, there will be employers who are hesitant about hiring you. That is when you need to be ready to plead your case. Emphasize how you have moved beyond your criminal past. Focus on what you have done to better yourself. Have a list of references ready who are willing to stand up for you, especially past employers who know of your good work and behavior. This is the best route to changing your life and becoming employed. I wish you luck!".

You can find more answers to this question here.

There is no doubt that having a criminal history does not make finding a job easy. 

Employers can be understandably leery about hiring you. They may be concerned about you re-offending or even you posing a problem for their business, their customers, or their other employees.

You have to recognize this and understand that business owners and managers have a right to be reticent about hiring someone with a criminal past.

Their very livelihood and reputation is on the line.

However, having a criminal record does not mean you are unemployable or destined to only the lowest paying jobs. 

Ex-Offenders take Note ~ These Steps will Help You Get Hired! “Tweet This”!

As I shared in my Quora answer, there are definitely steps you can take to increase your chances of being hired and, eventually, landing the “decent” or better jobs you need.

“It is important to note that not all employers will automatically eliminate you from consideration if you have a criminal record. EEOC guidelines actually recommend that employers only take into account offenses that directly pertain to the job.

Be ready to plead your own case. Own your criminal past, share any circumstances that lead to your conviction, and show what you have done since them to turn your life around”.

Find our more advice in “Job Seekers’ Top 5 Frequently Asked Background Check Questions”.

But that does not mean finding a decent job will be easy.

“In this challenging job market, many ex-offenders feel like they don't stand a chance against job seekers with clean records.

It is important to keep in mind that most employers will screen for criminal history.  Existing “Ban the Box” laws and other guidelines may dictate when and how employers can use that information, but being screened is still a reality for anyone seeking employment. 

That is why it is important that you deal with your criminal record head on”!

And this can mean self-disclosing your criminal past!

Understandably, this is one of the most common areas of concern for ex-offenders.

My advice ~ 

“Take responsibility and be ready to explain any circumstances that lead to you committing your crime(s). When you are  truthful, it is much more likely that the employer will put your past in context.  

But don’t let your conviction be the focus – stress what you’ve learned from the experience.   

Take this time to explain what you have done to reform. Share clear examples of any training programs you have completed or any certificates you have earned (even those earned while you may have been incarcerated). 

You should also include any letters of recommendation from employers, mentors, or even support group leaders. Be sure to emphasize any examples of your reliability and trustworthiness.  

What your potential employer is really looking for is anything you have done to show you have moved on and have done the work to improve yourself.

While sharing this personal information may be difficult, it can go a long way towards getting you a second chance and showing you have moved on”.

Excerpts above from “Job Seekers: Do You have a Criminal Record? Find out the Best Time for You to Tell Your New Employer!”.

You also need to take care how you perform when given the chance! 

As I mentioned in my Quora answer, it is important to work hard at any job you are given. Make sure you are always on time, or even better, early. Treat your co-workers and managers with respect. Be polite to customers. In other words, do what you can to stand out! This will go a long way towards putting you on the right path the get the kind of job you need.

Having a criminal past does not have to ruin the rest of your life. The key is to be willing to put in the work to overcome the stigma associated with ex-offenders. And remember, there are employers out there who are willing to give you a chance.

While finding a decent job will most likely not come quickly, each step you take forward helps bring you closer to your goal.  

Authored by     

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